Currently reading: The best used electric car bargains to snap up now
Prices of used electric cars are approaching parity with ICE. Which means now is the time to buy a used EV

If you're looking to switch to an electric car, there’s never been a better time to bag the best used EV. 

With a slump in demand for new battery-powered models and uncertainty about the future legislation and technology, the value of secondhand EVs has crumbled. And while that’s bad news for the first owners, it’s great for those looking to pick a pre-owned bargain.

Even better, despite many buyers being wary about the potential pitfalls of EV tech, overall these machines are quite simple and therefore reliable and cheap to run. After all, an electric motor has only a handful of moving parts, compared with thousands in an ICE.

And while battery packs can be expensive to replace, the chances are the rest of the car will expire before the lithium ion cells need changing. 

In fact, with sensible charging and care, many batteries will last for hundreds of thousands of miles.

Then there’s the savings in running costs, particularly if you can charge at home. And with the public charging network expanding all the time, range anxiety should soon become a thing of the past. 

So here are our 10 favourite used EVs that will help you do your bit for the planet as well as your bank account.

The best used electric cars

1. Porsche Taycan


Few cars have been hit as hard by the slump in used EV prices as the Taycan, with examples of the Porsche losing more than half their value over the course of three years. 

Yet despite the hefty depreciation, the sleek German saloon remains as remarkable as it has always been, especially with prices starting at around £40,000. 

No battery-powered model is as good to drive, with sharp and engaging handling plus a scorching turn of pace, even in relatively modest 4S guise, which packs ‘just’ 563bhp. 

When new, it had a claimed range of 288 miles and in real-world use you can expect an easy 250 miles, while an 80% charge using a 350kW charger takes less than half an hour. Some owners have reported the odd electrical glitch and there has been the occasional battery failure, but the eight-year/100,000-mile warranty means you shouldn’t be hit with any big bills yet.


Read our review

Car review

Porsche’s world-beating EV now comes as a £70k, rear-driven Tesla Model S and BMW i4 rival. Should they worry?

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2. Tesla Model 3


This wouldn’t be a list of electric cars without a Tesla somewhere in the mix. The recent arrival of a facelifted Model 3 has helped soften values for the old car, although in terms of looks and driving experience, there’s very little difference between the two. 

That means composed and capable handling, a cushioned ride (some low-speed stiffness aside) and enough performance to keep most adrenaline junkies happy. 

Tesla’s use of the over-the-air software updates means many electrical niggles can be quickly resolved, although squeaky trim and inconsistent panel gaps betray the brand’s build quality issues. 

That said, the Model 3 is generally reliable, while the brand’s battery tech results in longer cell life than most. 

You can pay as little as £13,500 for a standard model, but we’d stretch to the extra £1500 or so the Long Range demands because it gets you a claimed range of 348 miles (just over 300 miles in reality). Either way, you’ll get access to the firm’s excellent Supercharger network.

3. Fisker Ocean


When is a secondhand car actually brand new? When it’s a Fisker Ocean. The troubled American firm had only just launched in the UK when funding issues forced it to suspend production. 

As a result, Fisker has slashed prices, with buyers able to bag a barely used, delivery-mileage example of the novel Ocean for around £25,000, which is roughly £10,000 less than it would cost new. 

For that, you get a single 282bhp motor and a 73kWh battery that enables a claimed 288 miles between recharges. Deft driving dynamics, eye-catching looks and a spacious well-equipped interior add to the Ocean’s appeal.

Spend an extra £5000 or so and you can get a Hyper Range version with a few thousand miles on the clock that’ll cover a realistic 400 miles on a charge. 

There is one massive caveat, though: embattled Fisker has said it may not be able to offer comprehensive after-sales services. 

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4. Jaguar I-Pace


One of our favourite EVs when new, the electric Jaguar makes an equally compelling choice as a used car. 

It's been around for several years now, which means prices of this fast and fleet-footed big cat have now dropped to £15,000. 

For that outlay, you get a muscular 395bhp twin-motor four-wheel-drive set-up, plus a hefty 90kWh battery that’ll give you a slightly disappointing usable range of around 250 miles (295 miles is claimed). However, the upside is stonking straight-line pace and typical Jaguar dynamics that manage to blend invigorating handling with hushed refinement and a plush ride. 

The I-Pace is also spacious and retains the brand’s delightfully upper-crust interior ambience. Overall quality is high, but electronic glitches have blighted the Jag from new, so check any potential purchase for onerous warning lights.

5. BMW i3


Arguably ahead of its time, the innovative BMW i3 is an EV that’s as interesting to own as it is cheap to run. 

Underpinned by strong and light carbonfibre-reinforced plastic architecture and clad in distinctive composite bodywork, the i3 is surprisingly light for an electric car (it tips the scales at under 1200kg). 

Its rear-mounted 168bhp motor serves up zippy performance while the skinny-tyred handling has enough baked-in BMW driver appeal to keep things fun. Then there’s the boldly styled and neatly packaged interior that’s crammed with sustainably sourced materials. 

This pioneering approach to the car’s design and engineering means that the i3 already has the makings of a modern classic, while prices starting at under £6000 make it an affordable choice too. 

The only downside is that the small 21.5kWh battery on early cars means a realistic range of only 80 miles or so (BMW claimed 100 miles).

Read our BMW i3 review

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6. Mazda MX-30


Provided you’re not planning to do many high-mileage drives in your EV, the quirky Mazda MX-30 makes plenty of secondhand sense. 

Even when new, the compact crossover had a paltry 124 miles of claimed range from its 35.5kWh battery, which today translates to around 100 miles of reliable range. Then there’s the rear-hinged 'suicide' rear doors, which are more of a gimmick than a practicality aid, plus rear-seat space is marginal for adults. 

Yet for short hops or second-car duties, the Mazda’s incisive handling makes it one of the more engaging EVs to drive. It’s also well built and lavishly equipped. 

Moreover, the misunderstood Mazda has suffered more from depreciation than small car alternatives, such as the Mini Electric, meaning a three-year-old example can be yours for little more than £10,000.

7. Nissan Leaf


If you’re looking for the cheapest electric car on the secondhand market, then the Leaf should be at the top of your shopping list. 

The electric family car pioneer has been around for the best part of a decade and a half now, with the result that you can pay as little as £2000 for an early example. Of course, at this end of the market, you won’t get much range for your cash and examples fitted with a 24kWh battery deliver a realistic 80 miles of range (well down on the official 109 miles). 

Yet treat the Nissan as a cheap commuter car or school-run hack and you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank. Not only will ‘fill-ups’ cost you less than with an ICE alternative, but the Leaf is also proving to be a durable and robust long-term proposition, requiring only routine maintenance and the replacement of the usual consumables.

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8. Hyundai Ioniq


Living in the shade of its more fashionable and famous namesake (the Hyundai Ioniq 5), means the Ioniq is a bit of a bargain buy. 

It’s not the most glamorous or invigorating set of wheels you’ll ever buy, but as a sensible, low-cost and hassle-free runaround, it takes some beating. 

The relatively modest 38.3kWh battery’s stamina is aided by excellent aerodynamics that allow the Hyundai hatch to squeeze a claimed 193 miles (expect around 165 miles day to day) from a charge, while Premium trim is very well equipped. 

Just under £9000 will secure the keys to a 2020 example with around 50,000 miles on the clock and (crucially) the balance of the Korean firm’s generous five-year/unlimited-mileage warranty.

9. Volkswagen ID 3


With family car icons such as the Beetle and Golf on its books, Volkswagen knew its first bespoke EV hatchback had some big boots to fill. And while the ID 3 probably won’t be held in such high regard as its ancestors, it makes a solid and sensible used choice. 

Being designed from the ground up as an EV using the brand’s MEB platform (rear-mounted motor and battery under the floor), the VW is roomy and brisk, even in entry-level 168bhp guise.

It’s not quite as fun as its rear-drive layout might have you believe and some of the cabin ergonomics will make you want to set fire to the car (the unlit touch-sensitive temperature controls being the biggest faux pas), but a little over £12,000 will get you a three-year-old example with the smallest, 58kWh battery.

That’s still good enough for a claimed 265 miles (roughly 230 miles in real-world use). The bigger, 77kWh battery delivers a realistic 300 miles between top-ups, but currently commands a hefty £6000 premium, which means it doesn’t offer nearly as much value for money.

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10. Fiat 500 Electric


Proof that the best things really do come in small packages, the pint-sized Fiat wraps fun driving dynamics and low running costs in stylish Latin wrapper. 

Designed from the outset as an EV, the Fiat 500 Electric packs all the retro visual charm of its ICE predecessor yet feels like a much more modern and upmarket proposition. 

The 24kWh-battery version is best avoided because of its limited range, so we’d recommend spending a little extra (prices start at just over £10,000) on the 42kWh model, which offers an easy 170 miles between electricity injections.

Regardless of battery size, you get traffic-dodging agility and surprisingly grown-up ride and refinement. It’s at its best in the urban jungle and rear-seat space is best left to children or contortionists, but few EVs serve up as much everyday fun.

James Disdale

James Disdale
Title: Special correspondent

James is a special correspondent for Autocar, which means he turns his hand to pretty much anything, including delivering first drive verdicts, gathering together group tests, formulating features and keeping topped-up with the latest news and reviews. He also co-hosts the odd podcast and occasional video with Autocar’s esteemed Editor-at-large, Matt Prior.

For more than a decade and a half James has been writing about cars, in which time he has driven pretty much everything from humble hatchbacks to the highest of high performance machines. Having started his automotive career on, ahem, another weekly automotive magazine, he rose through the ranks and spent many years running that title’s road test desk. This was followed by a stint doing the same job for monthly title, evo, before starting a freelance career in 2019. The less said about his wilderness, post-university years selling mobile phones and insurance, the better.

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LP in Brighton 7 June 2024
Seems like a fairly random list of expensive high end models combined with a few ageing cheapies. What’s wrong with the Stellantis supermini EVs and the MG4 both of which are widely available and offer respectable performances and range at bargain prices. Or the little Honda EV which would be a fine model for those who don’t want to travel far or fast?
Dozza 7 June 2024

Now go and check out how much they cost to insure. Well over £1k a year. No thanks. 

xxxx 7 June 2024

Really, so a Nissan LEAF costs over a grand a year to insure.  The things some people write.

Marc 7 June 2024
Massive variations depending on personal circumstances, address and age.

Me: 51, 15 + years NCD. Low risk address, no convictions.

Kia EV6 £488 per year FC (what I actually paid)
Hyundai Ionic 6 £465 quote
ID3 £360 quote
ID Buzz £540
Model 3 £1030 quote
Polestar £760 quote
Cupra Born £366 (what I actually pay)

Stockholm Calling 7 June 2024

That is good information as I'm about the same age and looking to change to an EV later this year. I was concerned about the insurance side of things.  

Can you really find a used Taycan for £40000? Cheapest one I saw on Auto Trader was 44.5k for one of the earliest ones.